The fact that Iceland is an island State with only one major point of entry from abroad, has a very small population and undertook measures of social distancing and a comprehensive testing strategy all led to low infection and fatality rates.
At the beginning of March 2020, the first cases of Covid-19 were reported in Poland. A significant number of measures to prevent and combat Covid-19 were introduced in different policy areas including education. The provision of education was changed, and new forms of teaching and learning were introduced.
On 18 March, the President of the Republic signed a Decree declaring a state of emergency, lasting 15 days; it was renewed twice and ended on 3 May. Considering the need to reduce the risk of contagion and implement measures to prevent and combat the Covid-19 epidemic, this legislative act partially suspended the exercise of certain rights, including the right to move around the national territory.
In 2019 more than 34% of adults participated in lifelong learning in Sweden, making it the highest rate in the European Union. A government bill on municipal adult education was adopted by the Parliament on the 3 June 2020 aiming to strengthen competence provision, accelerate the integration of immigrants and facilitate re- and upskilling of adults.
Almost a quarter of young people who enrol in a VET program have already completed general upper secondary education (23% in 2018). Of learners who enrolled in a VET programme in 2018, 39% had already started another kind of education programme (Statistics Denmark 2019).
Due to an amendment to the Vocational Training Act (BAG), since 1 May 2020 it has also been possible to complete apprenticeship training on a part-time basis. The aim is to make access to apprenticeship training easier for people for whom full-time training was previously difficult due to care obligations or health restrictions.
School closures and short-time work in companies as part of the measures to combat the corona pandemic also affect vocational education and training (VET). Even though schools have been gradually reopening since the beginning of May 2020 and apprenticeship-leave examinations are taking place again, the coming summer and autumn have further challenges in store.
Earlier this year, Slovakia’s Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, along with various partners, launched a new website, offering detailed data tracking of secondary and tertiary graduates.
The national qualifications framework (NQF) has not only led to more transparency in the qualifications landscape, but has also triggered several discussions on education policy in Austria. One of them concerns higher vocational education and training (HVET), which is to be made more visible by creating a separate education segment.
The qualification initiative Digital change Q 4.0 (Digitaler Wandel Q 4.0) aims to support and qualify teachers and trainers. It focuses on the development of specific qualification programmes primarily for in-company trainers, but also for VET school teachers and experts involved in apprenticeship examination.